New Years Eve Shiitakes

18°F to start our day, but not in the greenhouse. With the wood-burner and the sun steadily doing what they do, it was a pleasant 50-60°F, until a South wind started blowing.

We spent the day happily inoculating Cherry logs with shiitake dowels.

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First, cut your logs. Preferably you want to use a medium-hard wood about 3-5″ in diameter; Cherry was already felled, so readily available to us.

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Using a 5/16 bit, or thereabouts, drill your holes 6″ apart along the length, and about 2″ apart along the width in a grid, and fill with your dowels.

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It’ll look something like this:

Shitake3.5

Gently tap them in with a lightweight hammer:

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And lightly seal with wax, we used a soy wax.

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It’ll look something like this:

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Here’s a picture of a few very helpful chickens (the rooster was especially helpful, crowing to compete with the drill):

Very Helpful Chickens

They like it in the greenhouse, but soon they will be kicked out, lest they eat all our tender young plants.

…And back to the shiitakes…

Here we have the start of a “log cabin” structure, there are still many, many logs to inoculate:

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We’ve placed this structure under our south facing back porch where it is insulated with straw bales and shade cloth. Every few weeks we will need to dunk our logs in clean, fresh water for about 24 hours, to keep them from drying out. Though, if the snow melt is heavy, probably less often.

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